On Friday, August 18, wet-plate photographer Shane Balkowitsch worked with social justice activist Adam Martin to have his portrait taken using the historic wet-plate process. “It was amazing to be surrounded by people that want to make changes,” said Martin.
Martin is the founder and president of the F5 Project, a non-profit located in Fargo, North Dakota. F5 Project helps to coordinate services and provide personal support in order to deter repeat offenses. F5 Project believes that what happens in one’s past doesn’t need to determine one’s future, and helps the transitioning of returning citizens from confinement to a new life through support with on-going communication, safe and affordable housing, employment, healthy socialization, and drug and alcohol treatment counseling.
A former inmate, Martin experienced first hand the lack of services available for returning citizens. Martin realized that if communities were unable to help break the cycle in an individual’s life that led them to crime, the community would fail. Under Martin’s guidance, F5 Project works to support and enhance the lives of former offenders and to better the community.
The final image will be used as part of the Those Among Us images captured for publication and exhibition.
“Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota Volume 1” is a multi-disciplinary media project documenting the human rights and social justice champions of North Dakota. Through portrait photographs, essays written by the participants and video interviews capturing discussions about the motivation behind and the importance of their work, this project strives to create a historical record of the important work currently taking place in North Dakota in a compelling and visually creative way. The project features the work of wet-plate photographer Shane Balkowitsch and independent filmmaker Sean Coffman.
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